One of the world's rarest reptiles welcomed at the Atlanta Zoo - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

One of the world's rarest reptiles welcomed at the Atlanta Zoo

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The Guatemalan Beaded Lizard. Zoo Atlanta photo The Guatemalan Beaded Lizard. Zoo Atlanta photo
ATLANTA (WRCB) -

The Atlanta zoo says 13 is a lucky number for one of the planet’s rarest reptiles.

In a press release, zoo officials say this spring has been their most successful season for hatching Guatemalan beaded lizards, they welcomed 13 in total.

The Atlanta zoo is the only zoological organization outside of Guatemala that is currently breeding the species, and one of only four zoos in the U.S housing this type of lizard.

"Every animal birth at Zoo Atlanta is important, but it is especially so when we consider that there are so few Guatemalan beaded lizards in the wild. This

species is not only exceptionally rare but challenging to reproduce," said Hayley Murphy, DVM, Vice President of Animal Divisions. "We are very proud to

see Zoo Atlanta leading the way in helping to ensure a future for this species and in sharing what we have learned with our partners in the U.S. and

Guatemala."Experts believe there are fewer than 200 Guatemala beaded lizards left in the wild.

The wild population faces challenges because of habitat loss and illegal trade.

The lizard’s venom is not only used for the animal’s self-defense, it’s also used to treat diabetes in humans. 

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